How picturesque should journalism be?

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"Three times a week, a truck putters 45 miles south from a farm in Sonoma County, headed for Berkeley's North Shattuck neighborhood, filled with plump, corn-bred, nine-week-old ducks." - John W. Cox

For a lede this was slightly deceiving.  I was expecting a focus on the animals themselves.  It isn't until the end of the second paragraph Alice Waters is introduced.  This profile is very descriptive, which I thought nice.  You can almost smell and see the foods and people he writes about.  Those are things that make a great story, but I wonder isn't it excessive for journalism, where fact takes precedence over all other aspects.

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